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Hybrid organic/2D van der Waals heterostructures for photovoltaic applications

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 28, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Van der Waals heterostructures have emerged as a new class of materials with great potential for a wide range of applications. These heterostructures are formed by materials with dangling bond-free surfaces that are stacked and held together by van der Waals forces. Because van der Waals forces are non-directional, a large variety of heterostructures can be assembled by combining materials with different dimensionality, such as two-dimensional (2D) materials, organic molecules, polymers, and nanotubes. This opens a wide avenue for exploration and innovation, offering the possibility of building systems with properties that are not present in the individual components.

Several organic/2D heterostructures have recently shown to hold promise for solar energy absorption and conversion due to the attractive charge transport properties of the 2D materials and the good optical properties of the organic materials.

In this project we will use first-principles methods based on density functional theory and many-body perturbation theory to investigate vdW heterostructures composed of organic molecules and 2D materials for photovoltaic applications. We will investigate the electronic and optical properties as well as aspects related to the charge transport and exciton dynamics of several different organic/2D heterostructures in order to predict potential candidates for photovoltaics that could be used in flexible, portable and wearable devices.

Please quote FNS GS 2019-26 on your application.

For informal enquiries related to this project contact Dr. Juliana Morbec by email:

For further information about Dr. Morbec research see and

Keele University values diversity, and is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity. In support of these commitments, Keele University particularly welcomes applications from women and from individuals of black and ethnic minority backgrounds for this post. The School of Chemical and Physical Sciences and Keele University have both been awarded Athena Swan awards and Keele University is a member of the Disability Confident scheme. More information is available on these web pages:

Funding Notes

Funding support is provided as follows; 100% UK/EU tuition fees for 3 years from Academic year 2020/2021. Stipend support for 3 years at UKRI rates. 2020/21 stipend level not yet confirmed. (Stipend for 2019/20 was £15,009 per annum).
Funding confirmed.

UK/EU nationals are eligible for full funding (tuition fees and stipend at Research Council rate).

International students may qualify for a fees-only award.

Candidates must hold at least an upper-2nd class Bachelors degree or an appropriate Masters qualification in physics, chemistry or materials science.

Related Subjects

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